Henrik Rung – Notes on the pieces

Notes on the pieces, by Jens Bang-Rasmussen


Impromptu, for solo guitar

This composition is a small character piece. The style is typical for the romantic period in Denmark. The melancholy mood and the miniature form (like a fairy tale of H. C. Andersen) is very obvious.

Polonaise op.2 no. 1, for solo guitar

This is one of Rung’s major concert pieces. The typical rhythmic figure in the polonaise is very clear. The piece is inspired by Liszt and Chopin. Rung is here writing a polonaise in a romantic Danish national style. Even though the composition is composed in very virtuosic style, it contains simple and wonderful melodic material, with a large element of Danish folklore.


A quarrel between children (De Uenige Sødskene), for two guitars

This duet was written for Henrik Rung’s children. In the Rung musical family the guitar and the violin were instruments used for fun and musical training. Rung composed a number of works for his children’s musical education. The element of daily life in musical family comes through in the title and in the composition.

Capriccio, for two guitars


Burlesco, for three guitars

The Burlesco (Burlesca) is a true masterpiece. This piece is very simple and an obvious example of how well Rung could compose for his children’s musical training.


George and one of the kids, for violin and guitar

A romantic piece dedicated to Rung’s brother and to one of his children.

Andante per Violoncello e Chitarra

A nice cantabile piece for cello and guitar. The influence of Italian bel canto is obvious in the cello part.

Notturno, for violin, violoncello and guitar

A conversation between three different instruments. Rung shows deep understanding of the guitar’s resources in connection with other instruments. The guitar accompaniment is very sophisticated and mixes with the strings in a very natural way.

Siciliano a 4, for two violins and two guitars

Besides the unconventional instrumentation, this composition has some most extreme writing from Rung’s hand. His use of harmony and melody points ahead towards a new generation of composers like Carl Nielsen.

Bolero, for violin and three guitars

The Bolero is a classical and traditional piece, though the instrumentation is unfamiliar. An example of a very skilful composer with an ability to master a form like the traditional bolero and still get his own musical personality through in the piece.


Henrik Rung – Five compositions for solo guitar, two guitars, and three guitars (pdfs)

Henrik Rung – Five compositions for guitar with other instruments (pdfs)

Henrik Rung biography